Dare Arts announces 45th annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show award recipients

Multidisciplinary artist and judge Lisa LeMair and Dare Arts Executive Director Jessica Sands with the 2023 Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Eure Best In Show piece by artist Judith Saunders. Photo courtesy of Dare Arts.

On Friday, February 3 hundreds of people came out on a chilly evening to Dare Arts in downtown Manteo for the opening of the 45th Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show, which features the work of 104 local and regional artists.

Multidisciplinary artist Lisa LeMair carefully selected the following award recipients: 

Eure Best In Show: Judith Saunders “Nooks and Crannies” (woven copper sculpture)

Excellence Awards: Lori Goll “Matriarch” (pastel, metal leaf, and sanded paper), James Melvin “Community Checkers” (acrylic), Carolyn Sleeper “Protected” (stoneware), and Katherine Wassink “Spring Awakens The Swamp” (fiber)

Honorable Mentions: Kathleen Redman “Sake Set” (porcelain clay), Alla Rossow “Touch of Sun” (paper collage), and Iryna Rusova Welch “2022: Looking for a Brighter Future” (oil)

People’s Choice: Taylor Williams “Dreamland” (oil)

“I wish I had more awards to give, with so much strong and compelling work from mainstays of our arts community and those who are newer to Dare Arts,” said judge Lisa LeMair. “I focused on works that evoked a sense of joy for me, from Alla Rossow’s collaged chickens, James Melvin’s men playing checkers, and Carolyn Sleeper’s delightful and idiosyncratic sculptural ceramic, to the quiet beauty of Katherine Wassink’s pastoral fiber “painting”, Iryna Rusova’s evocative modern icon, the beautiful detail and contrasting surfaces of Lori Goll’s elephant, and the sheer delight of a gorgeous finely crafted drinking vessel in Kathleen Redman’s porcelain sake set. I love and am amazed by Judith Saunders’ work. Her exquisite craft, skillful composition, use of space–just all of it. I really like how this piece functions as a whole, but also rewards each viewing with individual moments of delight. And how she is able to make hard metal appear so supple and fabric-y… so good.”

Ocracoke artist Judith Saunders uses basketry techniques to create contemporary vessels and sculptural forms.

“While I have received numerous awards for my creations, this is my first ever Best in Show and I am 100% excited and appreciative,” said Eure Best In Show award recipient Judith Saunders. “Copper is a favorite medium of mine. Prior to weaving, I must cut and straighten each strip of copper because it comes in rolls 12 inches wide and usually 10 feet long. Being able to create forms with both graceful curved surfaces and angles using only flat strips of copper continues to fascinate me and keeps me experimenting and wanting to discover new variations. While each weaving starts from a general idea, it evolves as I weave. I enjoy the lengthy conversations with the materials as each new form develops.”

130 people voted by ballot at the opening reception for the People’s Choice Award, which went to Southern Shores artist Taylor Williams.

“I feel so grateful to have won the People’s Choice Award,” said artist Taylor Williams. “It feels so special to win an award that was chosen by my artist peers, family and friends.”

The show will remain on display in Dare Arts’ Courtroom Gallery though Saturday, February 25. The Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.

The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show is the longest running visual arts exhibit in Dare County, and is held in memory of Outer Banks preservationist and artist Frank Stick.

Thank you to Jane Webster, Beverly Perdue, Muse Originals OBX, Michael Halminski Photography (in honor of Ray Matthews), and KDH Cooperative Gallery & Studios for sponsoring the 45th Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show.

For more information about the show, please visit DareArts.org/frankstickshow or call (252) 473-5558.